New York Democrats seem like circling the wagons to guard state Attorney General Letitia James as she fights for her political life.
Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie stated Thursday he doesn’t help the concept of investigating his fellow Democrat’s dealing with of sexual harassment allegations in opposition to a high aide regardless of ongoing questions on whether or not she buried the troubling accusations for political advantage forward of the Nov. 8 election.
“On the surface of the things that I’ve seen, I don’t believe that we need to investigate the investigation,” Heastie stated Thursday.
The Bronx powerbroker is the newest Democratic official to specific satisfaction with how James has dealt with the accusation in opposition to former Chief of Staff Ibrahim Khan, who resigned Nov. 22, regardless of growing GOP calls for the Legislature, or a particular prosecutor, to launch a probe.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams likewise gave James some further back-up Thursday.
“I don’t think I know a better advocate to fight on behalf of women than Tish James,” Hizzonner stated Thursday.
State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Gov. Kathy Hochul – who may appoint a particular prosecutor – didn’t present remark Thursday.
“We must be clear in condemning sexual harassment, wherever it arises, there needs to be accountability and my understanding is that steps were taken toward that,” Hochul told reporters in Manhattan on Wednesday earlier than James spoke publicly concerning the matter.
But James has but to fulfill her critics concerning the extent to which she knew about troubling conduct involving her longtime aide in addition to the the explanation why she didn’t alert regulation enforcement whereas hiring an out of doors regulation agency to probe accusations in opposition to Khan involving two girls.
James additionally claimed that she by some means by no means heard about sexual assault allegations from Khan, who was a high advisor for a decade going again to her time as public advocate, for 3 years till it was completely reported by The Post in 2017.
“This could have a chilling effect on anyone else potentially victimized by Khan or anyone else in the administration, and an independent investigator could be a venue for others – if there are – to come forward without fear that the office will cover-up their cases,” Michael Henry, who misplaced a November election to James 44.5% to 53%, stated in a press release.
One of Khan’s accusers, former lawyer common aide Sofia Quintanar, 33, told The New York Times that Khan forcibly grabbed and kissed her in November 2021 after she left she left her job in James’ workplace.
And Quintanar claimed that James was extra involved about defending Khan, who has denied wrongdoing, than attending to the reality regardless of the nationwide fame she constructed final 12 months following a blockbuster report on sexual misconduct that helped drive disgraced ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has denied wrongdoing, from energy.
“I find it just appalling to see how the office handled this publicly,” she stated.
But Democrats like Heastie have signaled they’re extra keen to look ahead than dwell on the scandal engulfing James.
“We have to deal with the issue of sexual harassment. This just shows we still have work to do in this state, particularly with protecting women,” he added.